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History and Mission


Purdue University established a department of education in 1908. The creation was the University's response to a 1907 Indiana state law mandating that all new teachers have professional education of at least 12 semester hours.

For the first six years of its existence, Purdue's education department was comprised solely of one person. George L. Roberts boasted 27 years of experience in the state's public schools, beginning as a one-room schoolteacher and going on to become superintendent of schools in Greensburg, Frankfort, and Muncie. At Purdue, Roberts was a professor of industrial education, and he was a solo act until 1914, when, thanks to the Vocational Act of 1913, the University could afford to hire more faculty members.

For the next 75 years, various units at Purdue housed education faculty, including the Division of Education and Applied Psychology and the School of Humanities, Social Science, and Education. In 1989, Purdue officially created the School of Education. In 2005, Purdue renamed the School of Education to the College of Education.

*Sources: A Century and Beyond: The History of Purdue University; A University of Tradition: The Spirit of Purdue; and Facts at Your Fingertips, 2002-03.


Launching the Future

The College of Education will be a global leader in responsive educational research and practice. We will achieve excellence through transformative research, exemplary professional preparation and impactful engagement. Our individual and collaborative efforts will enhance the welfare of the citizens of Indiana, the United States and the world.


The mission of the College of Education at Purdue University is to:
  • Advance scientific discovery related to learning and human development
  • Prepare exceptional teachers and intellectual leaders
  • Maximize educational outcomes through inspired teaching, research and public service

To further its mission the College of Education strives to:
  • Create a culture of discovery
  • Deliver an innovative and responsive professional curriculum
  • Empower faculty, staff and students to effect positive change in a diverse society
  • Engage in cross-disciplinary collaboration to address critical educational challenges at all levels
  • Inform educational programs and policy
  • Attract and retain stellar, diverse faculty, staff and students